Feeds

Liquid water thrives beneath Mars surface - NASA

'Squirting Gun'

High performance access to file storage

NASA today unleashed its "squirting gun" by making bold claims about the presence of very liquid, very flowing water on Mars.

Photographs taken over the past seven years reveal changes in Mars' landscape that seem to indicate the presence of an underground water supply. The subsurface "water" has crept up to feed two gullies clearly visibly in the Mars pictures. While NASA has already discussed the presence of ice and water vapor in the past, it is particularly thrilled about the prospect of liquid water given that it could foster microbial life.

Scientists have long pointed to evidence such as vast channels on Mars that water once flowed on the planet. Now, however, it seems that liquid water may have been on the move in just the last few years and even today.

"We have had this story of ancient water on Mars," said Ken Edgett, a scientist with Malin Space Science Systems, during a press conference. "Today, we are talking about liquid water that is present on Mars right now.

"You have all heard of a smoking gun. (This) is a squirting gun."

You'll find NASA's images here.

As with most of NASA's squirting guns, there's little actual proof that the liquid in question is water beyond observations made by scientists. The space agency could end up sending a rover to explore the site in question or may use other probes to try and assess the chemical composition of the area for more proof of liquid water.

NASA believes that the subsurface water freezes almost immediately after reaching the surface of Mars, creating ice or salty deposits.

"These fresh deposits suggest that at some places and times on present-day Mars, liquid water is emerging from beneath the ground and briefly flowing down the slopes," said Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems. "This possibility raises questions about how the water would stay melted below ground, how widespread it might be, and whether there's a below-ground wet habitat conducive to life. Future missions may provide the answers." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.